Braves Ownership Supporting GM Anthopoulos' Efforts To Bring Analytic Edge To Team
The Braves have not said where their '17 payroll "ended up by their own accounting or divulged a targeted payroll" for '18, but new GM Alex Anthopoulos said that it "will remain at a similar level and that there are enough dollars to make it work," according to David O'Brien of the ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION. The Braves’ '17 Opening Day payroll "started at about" $120M and "toggled between" $115-130M throughout the season. Based on current salary commitments, the Braves could have upward of $30M to "spend this offseason" on additional '18 salaries "if the payroll remains the same" (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 12/13). Meanwhile, O'Brien writes Anthopoulos "got something akin to a doctoral degree in analytics while working in the Dodgers’ statistics think-tank/front office the past two seasons." Now he "plans to bring that knowledge and put into practice" much of what he "saw work successfully" for the Dodgers. Anthopoulos said his time with the Dodgers was "eye-opening." Anthopoulos has asked Braves Chair & CEO Terry McGuirk to "spend money to hook up the Braves with data services and fill positions that didn’t exist in the organization before now." He said that McGuirk has been "entirely supportive and granted every request thus far." O'Brien notes Anthopoulos last week hired Dodgers Dir of Baseball Operations Alex Tamin as Dir of Major League Operations and Marlins Senior Dir of Analytics Jason Paré as Assistant GM/Research and Development. Anthopoulos stressed that he and his front-office staff "won’t in any way interfere with field instruction or determine in-game moves." He said that "they are there only to provide information" (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 12/13).
STARTS AT THE TOP: In Atlanta, Jeff Schultz writes the biggest key to the Braves' future success "starts and ends with the corporate ghosts." Liberty Media has been "dreadful owners since purchasing the Braves from Time Warner" in '07. There is "nobody standing at the front of the room answering questions." There has been "no accountability in this organization, from McGuirk down." Nobody "wants to answer questions, least of all McGuirk" (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 12/13).